“Not One Penny” Group Aims Ads At David Young, Rod Blum For Tax Bill

Iowa Republican Congressmen David Young and Rod Blum will start feeling the pressure for their votes on a tax bill that targeted huge breaks to the wealthiest Americans this week. Not One Penny, a progressive coalition group formed earlier this year to push back against Republicans’ tax plans, will start running ads in Iowa criticizing the two for raising taxes on the middle class. It’s part of a national seven-figure ad buy to hold members of Congress accountable for their votes. “David Young voted for the Republican tax plan to raises taxes on middle class families,” the narrator says on […]

When The Door To Democracy Closes

Call them liberals, progressives, activists, or Indivisible, but do NOT call them paid protesters or political operatives. What they do is not dictated by some outside entity, it is matter of personal belief and their actions come from the heart. The payment they seek is an America where each is able to live their life to his or her full potential under the constructs of the Constitution. Like many concerned citizens after the election of 2016, these individuals were looking for a way to communicate with their elected officials. For those whose beliefs did not match the far-right ideology, they […]

Host Of Elected Officials, Key Activists Back Thomas Heckroth In 1st District

Thomas Heckroth’s campaign rolled out a long list of endorsers for his candidacy in Iowa’s 1st District Democratic primary today. State Representative Art Staed of Cedar Rapids joins Iowa House colleague Bruce Bearinger (who announced his support earlier) in backing the Waverly native. And he added a large host of activists and former elected officials from Black Hawk and Linn counties, including former congressional and state legislative candidate Gary Kroeger and Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers. “Thomas understands the challenges facing the 1st District, but he also knows there’s tremendous potential to grow these communities and create new opportunity,” said […]

State Of The Race In Iowa’s 1st District (October 2017)

Democrats face large primary fields for the 1st, 3rd and 4th congressional districts in Iowa, making it a little tough at times to figure out how things could shake out. But after months of candidate announcements, the races are starting to come into focus. At this point it seems like everyone who is going to get in is in, and yesterday’s 3rd quarter campaign finance filings gave the first full picture of where the candidates stack up money-wise. Starting Line will be taking a look at each congressional district this week for the Democrats and Republicans running, analyzing the finance […]

Abby Finkenauer Brings In $152,000 In 3rd Quarter, $300,000+ Overall

State Representative Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque will be reporting a fundraising haul of $152,000 in the 3rd quarter reporting period next week, adding to her $156,000 total in the previous quarter. That brings her to over $300,000 raised in her 1st District campaign to take on two-term incumbent Rod Blum in one of the country’s top swing district races. She first faces a four-way Democratic primary in this Northeast Iowa district. Her campaign reports that the fundraising amount comes from over 1,300 individual contributions, and that their median contribution is $50, with a majority of the donations coming from Iowa. […]

Abby Finkenauer Nabs Important Laborers Endorsement

State Representative Abby Finkenauer added another key group to her list of supporters in Democrats’ 1st District primary this week. The Great Plains Laborers have endorsed Finkenauer, making them the seventh labor union to support her in her bid to take on Republican Congressman Rod Blum. “Having grown up in a union home, Abby knows that building a fair and thriving economy means defending the rights of workers,” said Danny Hemminger, business manager and secretary-treasurer of LIUNA Local 43. “From day one in the state house, Abby has stood up to corporate special interests and fought for hard-working Iowa families. […]

An Iowa Politics Primer Guide For Students

School has been back in session across Iowa for college and high school students for a few weeks now. While Donald Trump is certainly a constant topic of discussion, important Iowa campaigns are well underway for governor, Congress, the Iowa Legislature and other statewide offices. Starting Line thought it’d be helpful to put together a simple primer guide all in one place for those races and the overall dynamics of Iowa politics to help students who want to get a good baseline knowledge of what’s happening. Many politically-engaged students will already know this information. But perhaps they have out-of-state friends […]

Army Veteran George Ramsey Sees 1st District Race As Patriotic Pursuit

To Cedar Rapid’s George Ramsey III, running for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is an extension of the service to country he pursued in his recently-ended military career. Ramsey spent 31 years in military service before retiring in 2016, and for much of this summer he’s been traveling around Northeast Iowa in preparation for a congressional campaign, which he plans to kick off in early September. During those trips, he’s encountered a lot of Iowans frustrated not with a single issue, but with the entire political system. “I’m tired of all the rhetoric,” Ramsey recalled one man telling him during a […]

Turned Down By Rod Blum, 1st District Voters Meet With Democratic Challengers

Constituents in Iowa’s 1st District couldn’t get an in-person meeting scheduled with their two-term Republican Congressman Rod Blum this summer despite repeated attempts for months. So they set up meetings with the next best thing: the four Democrats running to replace Blum in 2018. The candidates in the 1st District Democratic primary – Abby Finkenauer, Thomas Heckroth, George Ramsey and Courtney Rowe – have all set up “office hours” to sit down with Indivisible members to let voters’ concerns be heard. From now through the end of September, each will meet at the Blue Strawberry coffee shop in downtown Cedar […]

1st District Residents Detail Frustration With Trying To Meet Rod Blum

A guest post from Cindy Garlock, a 1st District resident, who has been trying to set up a meeting with Congressman Rod Blum. The November election left many of us in shock. In response to the Republican sweep of the federal and state government, a group of concerned Cedar Rapids citizens banded together to provide support to each other, but more importantly, to come up with ways to make our voices be heard in a chaotic political environment. A group of folks who were brought together through Indivisible began weekly meetings at a Cedar Rapids coffee shop in early February. […]